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  1. #1

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    Replacing Camera "Leather"

    As part of the restoration effort of one of my F2 bodies (a 1973 chrome F2/DE1 gem, that was well cared for, if little used, by its former owner), I have decided to "releather" the camera, to lend it a little personality. My question is: Is there an easy way to remove the factory covering? I tried the "prying method" (a Swiss army knife under a corner of the covering and lifting the raised piece) on a parts body and the effort gave me pause to reconsider. However, looking in at the offerings of www.cameraleather.com, my interest has again been piqued...
    An assortment of F-series Nikons (F to F6, excluding the F4) with quite a few Nikkors, a pair of M6s with some Leitz glass, a pair of 500c/ms with a wide range of Zeiss optics and, just to help keep Duracell solvent, a D800.

    Favourite films: (1). KE ("Kodachrome Era"): 35mm: PKM25 and PKR64, HP5/Tri-X; 120: PKR64, PanF, FP4. (2). PKE ("Post-Kodachrome Era"): (a) 35mm: E100G, HP5 Plus/Tri-X and Delta 3200; (b) 120: E100G, PanF Plus, FP4 Plus, TMax 100.

  2. #2

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    For a Nikon F2, the glue is ancient and dry. I use the chisel blade from an Xacto knife, and just work at it. I might drip in solvent but, choose carefully, as the wrong solvent seeping into the camera can do very bad things. ie. acetone will dissolve black paint.

  3. #3

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    A good quality lighter fluid could be used and it does not attack the paint as much.


    Mike

  4. #4
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Yes, mike c is correct, use (sparingly) lighter fluid in conjunction with gentle, persistent prying with a small screwdriver. Some are easier than others. The problem is the caked on gunk that remains on the steel. Some of this might also have to be (patiently) removed with (even) a screwdriver. - David Lyga

  5. #5
    Lukas_87's Avatar
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    Does anyone know any better camera leather "shop" than cameraletather.com?

  6. #6
    John_Nikon_F's Avatar
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    Aki-Asahi Camera Coverings... http://aki-asahi.com/store/ Limited selection of cameras on the site, but, might be able to get raw stock to use to make your own kit.

    -J
    APUG: F4, F3P, F2ASx2, F
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  7. #7
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    I've recovered a couple of cameras (OM1 and a Hasselblad) with the griptac material from cameraleather. Great stuff, perfectly cut and easy to install. Doesn't look as classic as vulcanite or nice leather, but it is really grippy. Morgan delivered both of them in 7-10 days or so. Other folks say they've had delivery problems with him, but I suspect part of the problem is that he may not always have stock of more unusual colors or materials. Might want to double check with him about materials and lead time before ordering anything unusual.
    Your first 10,000 pictures are the worst - HCB

    www.markjamesfisher.com

  8. #8
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    a good soak with naphtha usually does the trick, you can also soak a clean rag, and let that sit over the area to let it penetrate. You are better off getting plastic or wooden scraping tools, anything metal may slip and mar the other bits of the camera. The precut ones are easy enough, or if you want something that is unique or a covering material that no one makes you can buy the leather and cut to fit. Make sure to check the thickness of it, too thick and it will not sit flush. Book covering material comes in tons of colors and is thin and easily workable. If you can remove the covering in one piece, its easy to trace it with pencil onto the new sheet of leather, if not you can carefully measure and work slowly.

  9. #9
    dances_w_clouds's Avatar
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    Another good option is hand sanitizer works well on instillation. Also do not get impatient on the wait like removing the old stuff before you get the new product. The wait is worth it for the final product. I always said there is entirely too much pebble black on most camera and besides making great photos you can always look good doing it. I did a Burgundy colour on an Canon A1and an MA power winder.
    Last edited by dances_w_clouds; 03-13-2013 at 12:27 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the suggestions, folks. As far as coverings go, I've narrowed it down to white cobra, red snake or blue kid leather (and, yes, I will willingly admit these to be odd choices for a vegetarian of 35 years' standing). I am aware beforehand re the thinness of the white cobra; however, given this particular F2 is a body I rotate through a couple of times a year and not one that sees constant use - unlike my F5s or my F6 - I am not too concerned about premature wear, if I decide to go this route. Most likely, though, I will opt for the red or blue covering. In the case of the former, I wonder if a red F2-DE1/MD2-MB1 might be a little over the top?
    An assortment of F-series Nikons (F to F6, excluding the F4) with quite a few Nikkors, a pair of M6s with some Leitz glass, a pair of 500c/ms with a wide range of Zeiss optics and, just to help keep Duracell solvent, a D800.

    Favourite films: (1). KE ("Kodachrome Era"): 35mm: PKM25 and PKR64, HP5/Tri-X; 120: PKR64, PanF, FP4. (2). PKE ("Post-Kodachrome Era"): (a) 35mm: E100G, HP5 Plus/Tri-X and Delta 3200; (b) 120: E100G, PanF Plus, FP4 Plus, TMax 100.

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